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Experiential Heterogeneity

By Kevin Corcoran | Jul 10 2024
There’s a thought I’ve had rolling around in my head for a while that a recent post by Scott Sumner helped bring into focus. He argued there can sometimes be a failure to understand and appreciate how people might think in fundamentally different ways from you, and how this can lead to political polarization. As ...

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Mythology and the Reality of Democracy: An Illustration

By Pierre Lemieux | Jul 4 2024

The second round of the French election, to be held on July 7, carries some interesting lessons about democracy. In each circumscription where no candidate obtained more than 50% of the votes in the first round, those who got more than 12.5% are allowed to run in the second round. A political party or coalition .. MORE

Featured Comment

It would cut expenditure dramatically in two ways.  People would consume far less health care, and the health care they did consume would be far cheaper.

Scott Sumner, July 11

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Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings

Highlights of My Weekly Reading for July 14, 2024

By David Henderson | Jul 14, 2024 | 1

First, Happy Bastille Day. Now to some highlights. Reliable Sources: How Wikipedia Admin David Gerard Launders His Grudges Into the Public Record Tracing Woodgrains, July 10, 2024. Excerpt: Unsurprisingly, Gerard’s slash-and-burn, no-questions-asked policy has led to more than a few conflicts on Wikipedia. Editors who object to his indiscriminate removals have raised the issue multiple .. MORE

Media Watch

Can We Meaningfully Speak of Bubble Gum “Inflation”?

By Pierre Lemieux | Jul 14, 2024 | 2

The Wall Street Journal’s report on the reduced increase of the Consumer Price Index is confused. Or so would think an economist who understands the difference between changes in relative prices and a change in the general price level, of all prices together. (See “Milder Inflation Opens Door Wider to September Rate Cut,” July 11, .. MORE

Money and Inflation

Alan Reynolds on “Shelter Prices” and Inflation

By David Henderson | Jul 13, 2024 | 4

Alan Reynolds writes: Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation has been zero for two months. Over the past 12 months, prices of food at home are up 1.1 percent, and energy prices are up 1 percent. Yet headlines keep focusing on the 12-month averages of 3 percent for the total CPI and 3.3 percent for “core .. MORE

Business Cycles

Trendy Tables

By Giorgio Castiglia | Jul 13, 2024 | 2

A report in the New Yorker (and discussed in an NPR Marketplace segment) discusses restaurant table reservations, showing how third-party sellers are earning money by reserving tables at trending restaurants and reselling them to eager diners. These “hustlers” and “mercenaries” as they have been named (and self-named) might be seen, even by themselves, as jacking .. MORE

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing

Dreams and Nightmares

By Scott Sumner | Jul 13, 2024 | 9

Imagine if you were born overseas but grew up in America. After graduating from college, you start looking for a job. There’s just one problem; you do not have legal residency. As a result, the US government sends you back to your home country, a place you might not even remember. To many people, this .. MORE

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings

Activism and Institutional Gresham’s Law

By Kevin Corcoran | Jul 12, 2024 | 9

I recently posted about two broad lenses one could use to analyze political activism. One form is what I called “activism as production,” which occurs when activists are motivated by a desire to help produce some form of public good – better environmental health, an improved justice system, and so on. The other form is .. MORE

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Book Club

Labor Market

My Weekly Reading for July 7, 2024 8

Gorsuch Apes NIMBY Government Lies in Supreme Court’s Grants Pass Decision by Christian Britschgi, Reason, July 2, 2024. Excerpt: Phoenix’s amicus brief in the Grants Pass case was co-written by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns—a taxpayer-funded lobbying group that spent most of this past year fighting efforts in the Arizona Legislature to liberalize local zoning .. MORE

Austrian Economics

The South Royalton Discussion is All Online 2

  I’m glad that Geoffrey Lea expressed his misgivings about Richard Ebeling’s discussion of “the Remnant.” Even though I had read Richard’s essay carefully twice, I failed to comment on that part of his essay. But Geoffrey’s comment reminds me that I do have my own misgivings. I shouldn’t blame Richard too much. I had .. MORE

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings

Experiential Heterogeneity 16

There’s a thought I’ve had rolling around in my head for a while that a recent post by Scott Sumner helped bring into focus. He argued there can sometimes be a failure to understand and appreciate how people might think in fundamentally different ways from you, and how this can lead to political polarization. As .. MORE

Book Reviews and Suggested Readings

Universal Economics: Necessary Reading for the Well-Trained Economist

By Alexander William Salter

A Liberty Classics Book Review of Universal Economics, by Armen Alchian and William Allen.1 What do you do when economists stop believing in economics? The “dismal science” never merited its dreary epithet, but trends in economics education at the graduate and undergraduate levels could change that. Ph.D. courses are saturated with hyper-mathematical models that are .. MORE

Illiberal Integralists

By Samuel Gregg

A Book Review of All the Kingdoms of the World: On Radical Religious Alternatives to Liberalism, by Kevin Vallier. 1 Integralists are on the march. The ideas of a small group of mainly American but also British and Austrian Catholic scholars who identify themselves as integralists have received considerable attention over the past ten years. .. MORE

Misanthropy Springs from the Lust for Power: H.G. Wells

By Richard Gunderman

H.G. Wells Best known today for science fiction novels such as The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells was in his own day widely regarded as a prophet. Trained in science, he predicted the wireless telephone, directed energy weapons such as the laser, and the production of human-animal .. MORE

A Grand Tour with Adam Smith

By Maria Pia Paganelli

A Book Review of Adam Smith in Toulouse and Occitania: The Unknown Years, by Alain Alcouffe and Philippe Massot-Bordenave.1 Adam Smith in Toulouse and Occitania: The Unknown Years is not a book for everyone. It is not an introduction to the life or the works of Adam Smith. It is not even a traditional biography .. MORE